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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

The Zambezi newly revived export abattoir has slaughtered 733 cattle for the month of July 2021, Meat Board of Namibia July statistics shows.

The July slaughter is the second for the year after it had slaughtered 455 in June – boosting the northern side of the redline’ commercial slaughter beyond kapana, weddings, and death’ slaughter.

This makes it the third export abattoir, using July’s slaughtering number, replacing Hartlief export abattoir which just slaughtered 228 cattle for the month.

Despite the improvement on the northern slaughter, overall, the country’s total number of cattle marketed keeps dwindling compared to the same period last year.

For the past seven months, the country has just marketed 121 768 cattle compared to 153 640 cattle sold by July last year.

The number of cattle marketed has a direct impact on beef supply and the price per KG, so as the price of other substitutes (alternative) products that consumers can resort to.

Out of the 121 768 marketed for the seven months, 71 701 are live animals (weaners) to restock the South African market.

According to Meat Board analysis, as the margin between a ready-to-slaughter animal price and weaner prices narrow, farmers will rationally opt for weaner production.

The remaining 50 067 cattle were slaughtered locally- with 30 020 slaughtered to feed the European, South African, and China consumers.

While for the Namibian consumers, for the past seven months, 20 047 cattle were sold to the butchers for local supply of beef.

On a monthly basis, the statistics show that farmers have sold/exported more weaners (14 018) than any other month this year.

This is in contradiction to most of the country’s national documents saying that the sector is restocking- with the central bank being the latest to back the restocking analysis last week during their monetary announcement.

The statistics are, however, showing that as production happens some farmers are also selling not waiting for them to stay on the farm and grow- as it has been highlighted by Namibia Agricultural Union that raising an ox is costly.

As the weaner production increased, the Meat Board statistics show that animals slaughtered for beef have declined for July 2021 compared to June.

For July 2021, local abattoirs (north and south of the red line) were supplied with 8 029 animals to slaughter, less compared to June 2021, (8 233 cattle).

The decline was experienced by the butchers who supply formal local markets, for July 2021 they only accessed 1 504 cattle compared to 2 894 supplied in June 2021.

If the markets are perfect, the low supply of ready-to-slaughter cattle is reflected in the country’s import for beef which has jumped from its temporary reduction in June 2021.

In July 2021, the country imported 89 164 kilograms of beef, compared to the preceding month when it just imported 54 771 kilograms of beef.

For the seven months ending in July 2021, Namibia (the premium beef exporter) has imported 806 590 kilograms of beef, almost equivalent to what the country has exported (821 580 kg) to Norway in the same period.


Julia Heita

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